Ever on the look out for items overlooked by the mainstream media, DTW has been out to land these stories for your delectation.
The focus today is on seating and fabrics. I found out that Adient, Johnson Controls and Recaro are part of the same group; Zedtex is an Asian supplier to OEMs and if you want a fabric like a Hermes scarf it seems you must contact Sage (now owned by AsahiKasi). Oddly, none of those three go far out of their way to show us what they do or suggest exciting new advances.
Take Sage Echelon, the fabric like a Hermes scarf. It has no web-presence at all (apart from their site and this one). What’s the point of that? Sage “holds the No. 1 global share for vehicle seat fabrics” (not including fake and real hide). The Echelon product range seems to consist of Dinamica which we have read about here before – it’s a microfibre suede. And that in turn is supplied by Asahi Kasei who make a product called Lamous (since the 1980s which seems to be a Japanese alcantara-type material). It is not only used in cars but in clothes and domestic seating.
Recaro showed that truck interior this summer. It assumes the “driver” does little but sit there and get massaged. Those seats don’t suggest to me a great deal of comfort and the fabric is dismal. If I was Recaro I’d be trimming their show-interiors with something more thrilling.
Lear came up in my search and allowed me to show this juicy image of a JLR interior (by Lear):
You can tell this material is not intended for the casual reader. Lear says: “When you experience a Crafted by Lear™ seat, you feel an automotive manufacturer’s unique design brought to life with its original emotional intent intact. From early inspiration to beautifully engineered completion, Crafted by Lear™ utilizes Lear’s vertically-integrated capabilities and upfront, customer involvement to seamlessly combine premium materials, customized innovations, and thoughtful design, elevating the next generation of seat design.” That tinily much says nothing to make you feel like turning your custom towards anyone particular. It is not selling Lear’s evident expertise.
Boyriven are less shy about telling us who their customers are: all safely within the UK so no hold-ups at the Channel come March 2019. Or maybe they will. Who can say. Aston, Rolls, Morgan, Mini, Bentley and Lotus are all served by Boyriven. I suppose confidentiality means that the only automotive case study at their site related to Worcestershire Wedding Cars need for a new interior.
In the end I had to give up this search for arresting images of future fabrics or even current ones and reverted to more colour trend work – which we’ve already done this week. One by-product of this is that I discovered the name for the pale pink I’ve been seeing on people’s shoes: Millennial Pink.
“It’s a desaturated shade of pink – a pale, chalky neutral with a warm tint – that millennials embrace as their genderless mascot. Interestingly, it’s not Barbie, it’s not bubblegum, not the pink of generations past. In short, the unpinkness of millennial pink is changing the way people think about the female experience.”
I will have to attend the Automotive Interiors Exhibition in 2019, won’t I?
Another snippet is that more carbon fibre is being used in car interiors though you may not notice it – and a good thing too as it looks nasty. There’s a reason this kind of thing is not reported much. It’s like paint and glass – below the level of most people’s attention.